Category Archives: Coming of Age Stories

Coming of Age
This is a collection of personal stories – written and voiced by young Chicagoans – about what it means to grow up. They were produced with writer Hillary Frank, author and illustrator of “Better Than Running At Night” and other books; she’s also the producer of many excellent radio stories. This collection was broadcast as part of the Chicago Public Radio series, “Chicago Matters: Our Next Generation,” funded by The Chicago Community Trust. They also aired nationally on several programs, including NPR’s “All Things Considered,” “Day to Day,” and American Public Media’s “Weekend America.” “Coming of Age” won several honors, including a Third Coast International Audio Festival award and a Clarion.

Are You Trying To Be Corny?

Kim thought she wanted a mature relationship. But the role of “nagging grandmother” was more than she bargained for.


Sad, Sad, Sad

Nineteen-year-old Rochelle remembers a time when she was looking for someone to be her guiding light – and almost ended up in jail.

Dead Man In The Way

High school sophomore Antoine used to have the same name as his father. In this story, he explains why he changed it.

A version of this story also aired nationally on National Public Radio’s (now defunct) Day to Day.

The Ugliness

Monique had a group of friends who would have slumber parties and go to the arcade. She dreamed that when they grew up, they’d be as close as the women on Sex and the City. But when two of her friends started dating each other, everything changed.

A version of this story also aired nationally on American Public Media’s Weekend America.

The Big Whack-A-Mole Game Inside My Head

For most people, growing up means learning to become more serious. But for thirteen-year-old Jake (not his real name), who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, it’s about learning how to become more laid-back.

This story also aired nationally on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.

Me and My Realtor

Suzana describes her initiation into adulthood: first, she loses her childhood home in the chaos of war in Croatia, then serves as her family’s official translator, negotiating all of their basic needs in a new country — most importantly, finding them a home.

A version of this story also aired nationally on American Public Media’s Weekend America.

All My Stuff In Bags

A Chicago youth find his way toward adulthood by having it thrust upon him when his father kicks him out of the house for being gay. Now on his own sooner than he expected, he has to figure out how to find a home, support himself, and finish high school.

This story was awarded an Honorable Mention at the Third Coast International Audio Festival.